The world doesn’t run without computers, from the software powering tiny wearables to the hardware making possible wireless networking and computer processing. ECE Illinois faculty and alumni are making unparalleled contributions to this brave new world of computing, though their work sometimes hums along in the background.
To appreciate the unconventional nature of William Wegman’s art, consider his 1967 master’s thesis project: three rooms with walls made of inflated polyethylene, each offering different experiences (one sound, one light and one Dada-esque, with a paper cup falling when the viewer entered.
The sky holds no hint of sunrise, but inside ARC Gym No. 1, 17 rowing machines hum and whirr like the rhythmic breathing of a sleeping giant. Sweating and red from exertion, the men pull steadily; when the set is over, one of the rowers gets up and walks, weaving on rubbery legs to the wall, where he leans, gasping to recover.
Illinois School of Molecular and Cellular Biology magazine December 2014
Benito Mariñas, professor of civil and environmental engineering, had a problem. He was part of an effort to provide clean water to communities in East Africa, but the range of contaminants was vast. Diarrhea from unsafe drinking water is an enormous global health burden.
We pull into Deep Creek YC at Turkey Neck in the pouring rain, still recovering from a hair-raising U-turn with our boat trailer on a windy, single-lane country road. We park in the muddy fields of the upper parking lot, and slop to the cedar-sided clubhouse overlooking the lake. With more rain and no wind in the forecast, my mood is glum.
The hallways of the I Hotel were packed as women sporting pink and green t-shirts greeted one another with huge hugs and smiles. Alpha Kappa Alpha, Gamma Chapter, was celebrating its centennial on the University of Illinois campus. Warmth and love filled the air; oxygen molecules found room where they could. In that moment, this past winter, you felt you could do anything you set your mind to, as long as you had the support of these magnificent, high-energy women.
This year Devyani Hunt had an epiphany. During Dancing in the Streets, a St. Louis outdoor dance festival featuring more than 60 dance companies and 1,000 dancers, Hunt saw many dancers who might not have been on atage without her help. In one instance, Hunt had treated 10 of a company’s 18 dancers.
Vikram Adve, professor of computer science, and his first-year graduate student, Chris Lattner, made a plan for their next project. It was not a big plan, just the kind of plan a professor and a graduate student make all the time in the course of their research.
“We had talked about the idea of developing an infrastructure to use for both dynamic and static compilation, which we were going to work on after vacation,” remembers Adve.